Tuesday, May 31, 2005

More workers do business on a global schedule

In the Seattle PI yesterday More workers do business on a global schedule - This is actually a really good article about the odd hours that post-geographical (oooh buzzwords!) work entails. Despite years of video conferencing hype, it's really instant messaging, SMS, and email that make the 3 continent world I work in actually function, so the article is right on there. Maybe not surpisingly, the reporter missed the biggest pain of working like this. It's not being paged at 2 AM to help out Tokyo. It's lag- if I fire off an email in the AM to an office in Europe, I most likely won't see any answer for 24 hours. When you have 6 week product development cycles, 24 hours is a big bite of time. Really, I love my job, I love working crazy schedules, but even in college I did weird stuff like wake up at 6 AM one day and noon the next, so it works nicely for me. I wouldn't switch to a group that didn't work with people in our other offices, since it makes things so interesting on a lot of different levels. Not just technical ones, although parsing XML with kanji in it isn't exactly something I thought I'd be doing ever in my life. I got a huge grin on my face the first time one of our JP editors used "-san" in an email to me- it's really all the little things. I hate to think about doing it with kids, though.

Monday, May 30, 2005

weekend update

Number of bruises: 5 major ones, lots of other small ones
Number of scrapes: 3
Number of ruined pants: 1
I'm completely addicted, though. This morning I went down Myrtle Edwards park to Magnolia, then back, and had so much fun. I can actually turn it and handle most hills, and it's the sweetest feeling in the world to skim down a small curvy hill. Also shocking, a lot of skiing techniques actually work- like turning, I swear a lot of the muscle movement in your hips is the same. Or unweighting your knees to get over bumps, same thing. Snowboarding never seemed to have any of the same movements as skiing (the 4 or so times I tried it), but then again, in snowboarding your feet are strapped in place. That was one reason I just couldn't get into it... I have no idea if it's the correct thing to do, but I've been defininitely shuffling my feet around on the board a lot to shift my weight. The closest to a trick that I can do yet is bear down the back & kind of tap the front of the board side to side, which is how I've been making sharp turns.

Sunday, May 22, 2005


When I was home last time, I took a photo of Cameron standing on a rock- kind of nice, but you can see his retractable leash cutting right across the picture. Thanks to Photoshop CS and 5 minutes with the rubber stamp tool, cameron with a leash becomes cameron with no leash. It's a half-assed job, but it works well enough. We'll see how the prints come out. I really miss darkrooms, though, the meditative aspect of it, the precision, putting on some music and spending hours to get a good print out of a negative, standing over the bins, and everything. It's been about 5 years since I was in a darkroom, and I like digital, but darkrooms and chemicals and photo paper are completely different. I really need to look into the Photo Center NW up on 12th.

Friday, May 20, 2005

sunshineKate on Flickr

A long time ago- 1998 and early 1999- I did an internship with an IBM Internet Technology research group. They were working on ways to blur the line between "your computer/your harddrive" and everything else on the internet. There was some nice software that put the Yahoo search tree into your Windows explorer tree, so you could click through it the same way you clicked through your folders. Kind of neat for the dark ages of the web. I just installed a Flickr upload Dashboard widget, and the second thought I had was, "wow, this is what we wanted to do back then". (My first throught was "aww, kate, i love you, you crazy smidgen" (; ) So, here's the photo that I dragged from my desktop, to the widget, and had magically! uploaded:
Kate on Flickr

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

My ibook is back from Apple, with its 3rd logic board. The fuzzy sound problem seems to be fixed as well as that whole "won't boot" problem. While at the Apple store, I had my old 256 MB RAM card taken out and a new 512 MB one put in, so it's now running 640 MB of RAM... 10 gazillion times more than my first computer which had a whopping 64k. I just installed Tiger, and I'm thinking of putting mysql, pine, and some other Unixy stuff that I use onto it. I've always held that my ibook is my "relaxing" computer, but it would be nice to make use of the X11 integration that comes with Tiger. Also on the to-do list: download a few Dashboard widgets, set up some alarm clock software, upload new photos of Kate from last weekend.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Next Stop Grand Central

I've been working on building Kate's book collection for almost two years now. Next Stop Grand Central is going to be the next addition to her bookshelf, hopefully she'll enjoy the bright pictures until she's old enough to read it. There's not too much of a story to it, but got so much style that I had to buy it. The pictures inside, especially the hippie in bellbottoms, had me convinced that it was written in the 1970s, but it's not very old. The story, such as it is, meanders around the page with text looped around each small picture, so you can just pick and choose to read the bits that interest you, which I think is a neat way to write a book for children.

Monday, May 02, 2005


Dash Point State Park: "Dash Point State Park is a 398-acre camping park with 3,301 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound. The beach provides unobstructed views of the Sound and excellent opportunities for sea-life study."
We went to the beach Sunday morning, and mostly sat around in the sun on some logs. Very relaxing. Especially because I've discovered a new secret to plowing through 12 hours of programming: an ipod shuffle with nothing but Beastie Boys on it. The shuffle has 12+ hours of battery life, so it's been wake up, drink coffee, turn on shuffle, start coding, try not to sing along out loud, continue until shuffle battery dies, sleep. My favorite song right now is easily The Brouhaha, followed closely by the rest of that album. So good. But I've been playing the CD in my car, and listening to it at home before I fall asleep. My brain goes into withdrawal without it, completely not the reaction I was expecting... I would have thought I'd be sick of hearing it. The brains of programmers trying to meet deadlines work in mysterious ways.